You might feel more than a little puzzled if you're lying on the table of your massage therapist's clinic and see him or her donning a pair of vinyl gloves — or you hear the resounding snap as the therapist pulls the gloves on. It's only natural to wonder why he or she needs gloves to treat you, especially if you've had other massages in which the therapist didn't use this accessory. You can breathe a sigh of relief, as there's no need to worry. A massage therapist may use gloves for all — or, in most cases, some — or your treatment for the following reasons:
A Cut Finger
If your massage therapist has a cut, a broken blister, or some other form of open wound on his or her finger or hand, you can expect that he or she will don gloves. Doing so is necessary to prevent the spread of germs — and you probably wouldn't be able to relax if you knew that your therapist had an abrasion but was treating you without covering it up.
Fungus Or Warts
Sometimes, your therapist will need to treat a part of your body that has fungal growth or a wart on it. For example, you could have athlete's foot or plantar warts but still want a foot massage. By donning gloves for this part of your treatment, the massage therapist can successfully treat the affected area thoroughly without worrying about spreading the fungus or virus to his or her body, or even to other parts of your body.
The common cold is contagious, and it's generally advisable that you cancel your massage appointment if you're sick. However, if you haven't done so and you show up for your massage with obvious signs that you're battling a cold, you can often expect to see your massage therapist put on gloves. This is so that he or she won't get exposed to germs off your body more than necessary, as your massage therapist doesn't want to get sick.
Massage Inside Your Mouth
Sometimes, and always with your permission, your massage therapist will massage inside your mouth. Targeting the different muscles and even the gums can alleviate pain from a tight jaw and headaches, and a massage inside your mouth can actually be more relaxing than it might sound. For this technique, the therapist will always don vinyl gloves as a sanitary measure.
Contact a studio that offers massages for more information and assistance.